By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:56 Updated


Hundreds of Preschool and Primary School children filled the Agricultural Department’s grounds, in The Valley, on the Heroes and Heroines National Holiday in Anguilla on Tuesday, December 19, where the island’s Rotary Club held a massive Christmas Fun Day for them.

The excited schoolchildren paraded behind drum bands, from the Pathfinders and the Police, in a long procession from the main road to the agricultural grounds – accompanied by Rotarians and several persons playing the role of Santa Claus. The large crowd also spilled over on the grounds of the Anguilla Tourist Board. Tents, bouncing castles, Christmas trees and food stalls occupied substantial areas of the grounds with serenading guitar music by Anguilla’s music ambassador, Omari Banks.

Rotarian President and live wire, Jackie Ruan, of Ripples Restaurant, was the main spokesperson at the mass event. She told The Anguillian: “Today, we are going to blow away the fears caused by Irma with a Fun Christmas Day and, guess what, we have all the preschool and primary school, special needs and kindergarten children here. They are going to get a ham or a turkey per family and a visit from Santa Claus; bounce on the bouncing castle; get some face make-up; blow up balloons. We got food; we got Elves and we got Santas for the children.”

Jackie continued: “We were actually sponsored by my dear friends Jim, Debbie and Emily – and all the local people who participated including the culinary team from Campus A. We have the young people from all over the island doing things to raise funds to feed the children in January because we are running short. We also have other people, like Maxine from Best Buy, who just arrived with apples for the children.”

Mrs. Maxine Herbert-Duggins commented: About two months ago, after Hurricane Irma, our goal was to see how best we can give back to the children after such a traumatic experience. So we linked up with Jackie Ruan of the Rotary Club and we started organising the event.”

Asked who else she was linked to, she replied: “I am working along with the AXA Group which was formed in Washington, DC, after Hurricane Irma. We shipped containers with relief supplies to Anguilla and water to Montserrat – and we have been assisting with logistic shipping with other organisations.”

Past Rotarian President, Seymour Hodge, known for his community work, said: “Rotary is all about family and children as well as seniors. Today we decided to have a Fun Day for preschool and primary school students to help celebrate what Christmas and community spirit are all about. We have sponsorship from other organisations. We have the donors from the United States who made a financial contribution; community groups; the Banks; Flow; and we even have Four Seasons which provided the tents and gave us a very good rate; the person who provided the water; and we also have the schools involved. The Department of Education came aboard and assisted us with this project so it is not just the Rotary Club. It is a combination of other organisations and individuals. This is the first event we have done in this capacity. We have done fun days before but they were mainly for Rotary Club members from Anguilla, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barths.”

Tuesday’s Fun Day event was a huge success. Rotarian President, Jackie Ruan, was particularly grateful to the teachers, at all the schools, for being able to get the children and parents to attend the function on the Heroes and Heroines National Holiday.

By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:56 Updated


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